Latest satellite images show a Russian military convoy stretching for about 40 miles – far bigger than initially thought – as troops close in on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
The images are from satellite technology company Maxar, and they also show evidence of fighting outside the city, including destroyed vehicles and a damaged bridge.
Russian troops are believed to be around 15 miles away.
The satellite images also showed more ground force deployments and ground attack helicopter units in southern Belarus, less than 20 miles north of the border with Ukraine.
It comes as Russia’s invasion enters its sixth day, with no end in sight.
On the border with Belarus, the first round of talks between the two sides concluded on Monday with no agreement.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said afterwards: “The Russian side, unfortunately, still has a very biased view of the destructive processes it has launched”.
Ukraine had sent its defence minister and other top officials, but the Russian delegation was led by cultural adviser Vladimir Medinsky – perhaps a sign of how Moscow viewed the talks.
Mr Medinsky said the sides “found certain points on which common positions could be foreseen”, adding that talks would continue in the coming days on the Polish-Belarusian border.
In other developments:
• Pro-Russian separatists were taking control of Nikolayevka, a town in the eastern region of Donetsk overnight
• In the resort town of Berdyansk – in south eastern Ukraine – residents yelled at the Russian occupiers to go home
• More than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russian artillery hit a military base in Okhtyrka, a city between Kharkiv and Kyiv, the region’s head Dmytro Zhyvytsky said on Telegram
• The United Nations has said that more than 520,000 refugees had already fled Ukraine, with the number “rising exponentially, hour after hour” and expected to reach four million in the coming weeks
• There were long lines outside supermarkets in Kyiv as residents were allowed out of their homes and bomb shelters for the first time since a curfew was imposed on Saturday – for some, there was no food left
Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier called the West an “empire of lies”, angry over the economic effects of sanctions announced over the weekend, which saw the rouble plunge in Monday trading.
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Also on Monday, world leaders met at the United Nations General Assembly, where ambassadors from dozens of countries backed a proposal calling on Russia to stop its assault.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he hoped that talks between the sides would “Produce not only an immediate halt to the fighting, but also a path towards a diplomatic solution”.
He expressed concern at Mr Putin’s decision on Sunday to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert, describing this as a “chilling development”.
Ukraine’s UN ambassador was more forthright, saying of the Russian president: “If he wants to kill himself, he doesn’t have to use a nuclear arsenal – he has to do what the guy in Berlin did in a bunker in 1945”.
He was referencing the suicide of Adolf Hitler.
Russian forces continued to shell Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv late on Monday, attacking residential areas, with apartment buildings shaken by repeated, powerful blasts.
The West believes that Moscow wants to overthrow the Ukrainian government and replace it with a more compliant regime, but – despite their advantage in numbers – Russian troops have found it difficult to take key cities against determined resistance.